Seafood, boating and hitchhiking in Knysna

I shall preface this by saying that I had unrealistically high expectations of Knysna. I had heard so many amazing things about the place that I thought it would be the highlight of my trip. Knysna is certainly a beautiful town, but it is the sort of place where you would probably spend 2-3 days and be ready to move on. That being said, the two days I spent there were pretty great, and if you are a seafood lover then you would arrive and think you had gone to heaven!

Knysna is a coastal town with around 52,000 inhabitants. The area is famous for it’s beautiful Knysna heads, which are two beautiful headlands (one populated with gorgeous homes and one protected as a nature reserve) that flank the Knysna lagoon. The lagoon is notorious for it’s high number of past shipwrecks due to the fast changing weather and dangerous waters. It is pretty interesting to note that any boat that passes through this lagoon opening is 100% not insurable, and any outstanding insurance policies will become null and void upon passing through this estuary.

That being said, there are numerous boats that will take visitors on short trips up to the heads. Lovely Lisa and I did one of these boat trips, but made the mistake of doing so an yet another overcast day, so the true beauty of the heads and the lagoon wasn’t really evident.

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Forgot a jumper? Drink wine.
Forgot a jumper? Drink wine.

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The rest of the day proved quite rainy so we opted to have an early night and rise early in the morning. At around 6.30am we got up and jumped in the back of some random persons bakkie (pronounced bucky) and rode until we got some truly gorgeous views of the lagoon in the early morning light.

View from a bakkie
View from a bakkie
#nomakeupmonday
#nomakeupmonday

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We then rode onwards to a tiny yet beautiful part of the Knysna lagoon where we sunbathed and swam in the bitingly cold (yet so pretty) water for several hours. I want to note that riding in the back of a bakkie is common practice in South Africa and is also completely legal. This seemed crazy to me at first, as in Australia this would violate every safety code and road rule imaginable, but as the saying goes, when in Rome do as the Romans do. South Africa may not be Rome but the sentiment still rings true.

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With the sun beating down on us we had planned to hike back to the town on foot, yet after 45 minutes and the early signs of sunburn we abandoned that idea and hitchhiked back to town. I should note that I do not in any way condone or endorse the practice of hitchhiking, I am well aware that it is a potentially dangerous thing to do, so despite that I myself do it on occasion, I in no way encourage others to do so!

Once (safely) back in town we showered our sweaty and sandy bodies and then went out in search of the delicious seafood we had heard so much about. The tourist area known as the waterfront is filled with a bunch of boring chain restaurants that I beg you to please avoid at all costs! We walked about 10 minutes away from this area and through what appeared to be a rather dodgy scrap metal yard when we came across Freshline Fisheries, a small restaurant where the seafood is so fresh that you can see it coming in off the boats. We bought a few of our own bottles of wine (no corkage charge) and then proceeded to devour what will go down as one of the best meals of my life. We started with unusual yet magnificent beer battered oysters, which I followed with an enormous plate of seafood paella. Despite looking borderline pregnant by this point, I still ordered a 10/10 pudding with warm custard and devoured every last bite.

All this for only $8
All this for only $8

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THE LOWDOWN
Camera: iPhone 5
Hostel: Jembjo’s Lodge & Backpackers
Days/Nights: 2/2
Budget: 560ZAR ($56) for 2 nights incl. accommodation, meals, transport & boat trip
Remember: Sunscreen, bathers and an appetite!

Thankyou for continuing to share in my travels and journeys! So tell me, how do you like to get around when travelling? Do you cycle, hire a care or use public transport?

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20-something year old Australian backpacker writing her way around the world.

36 thoughts on “Seafood, boating and hitchhiking in Knysna

  1. I have only recently begun traveling but when I do travel I get a taxi because I am afraid to ride public transportation. I am always scared I will get lost! I loved this post. Great pictures.

    1. I was a little like that when I first begun travelling! I was very nervous my first time using a metro, but it gets a lot easier as time goes by 🙂 you’ll be a public transport pro in no time!

      1. I am from Scotland so if you need any recommendations let me know 🙂 only started blogging recently but I have a few sets of photos from my hikes around Scotland! Have you been before?

      2. Yes I’ve been to Scotland a few times, it’s one of my favourite countries! I’m planning on doing a bit of Isle hopping, thinking Mull, Iona, Staffa, Lewis and Harris? Would love to hear any suggestions though!

      3. That will be lovely, I’ve yet to make it that far north on the islands, I’d really like to get to Skye before the year is over for some walking. I’ve been to Arran, Millport and Rothesay, which have all been lovely though. If your nearer the north of Scotland, Cairngorms National Park is one not to miss, and further south nearer where I am (Glasgow Area which has a bunch of great museums and music venues), the Loch Lomand and the Trossachs National Park is great! Stunning scenery, great food, beaches and trails!

      4. I’ve been to Loch Lomond before and it was absolutely amazing! I was on Skye in December 2013 too and it was just out of this world 🙂
        I’ll be flying in and out of Glasgow too, any recommendations for things to see and do in or around Glasgow if I have a few hours free to explore?

      5. The airport isn’t super far from the city so if you have some time then theres the Huntarian museum and the botanical gardens in the west end, one of the lesser known ones museums but its just lovely, lots of vintage shops and cafes near by. Kelvingrove park is great for some greenery in the city and George square/buchanan street/merchant city are great for shops and restaurants, as well as all the stunning architecture! 🙂

  2. Gorgeous photos and the seafood sounds amazing! I try to stick to public transport as long as there are signs in English or I can speak enough of the language to get by. I’ve hired a car in Iceland though, and for most of my travel in the U.S.

  3. I only had a flying visit to Knysna (stayed at Jembjo’s too) – didn’t even make it to the lagoon! But definitely had unrealistic expectations of the town which I found kinda dull and uninspiring. Your seafood looks insane though, jealous I didn’t find that place!

  4. Love your blog! Reconsider the hitchhiking!! Although the UBuntu Girl did it – google her – you might like her story. She hitchhiked all over SA!

    1. Absolutely! Walking would have to be one of the best ways to get around! Especially if you have been hitting the local cuisine rather hard and notice your clothes getting a bit snug…

    1. Thankyou so much 😊 I think its partly that I’m very fortunate – not having children or a partner means I don’t have much to worry about when I leave my home city, and I think the rest is sheer determination! I’ll often be sure that I will have no time or money to travel and then i just sort of make the decision that i will and then I work hard and it happens 🙂

  5. Great post. This brings back some happy memories of my own backpacking adventures in South Africa years ago. I spent about six weeks living in Knysna and working at the long bar and tavern. Is it still there?

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